The following 200-word piece of flash fiction is an Honorable Mention in Week 24 of #MenageMonday at Cara Michaels’ blog. The prompts were: “You can’t ever go home again;” “sounds serious;” and a photo of a dilapidated motel.
“I’m going undercover.” Hazel eyed Camp Knox Hotel as if it were Fort Knox and she was a CIA agent instead of a journalist.
The air smelled like Meemaw’s potpourri, soil, and sticky summer all in one, and Hazel walked as if she was the first woman in the world to have a degree. Lena Dolittle stared from across the street with a face like a dried apricot.
Hazel tried to wave, but her arm stuck on something.
“Hazel, calm down.” A man’s voice, neutral.
Hazel tried to shrug out of the grip on her arms. Lena Dolittle’s apricot face turned pitying before her front door closed.
Jerking her hand free, Hazel fumbled for her briefcase but caught only air. Her hand looked like Lena’s face. Where was her smooth skin?
Something took hold of her arm again, pinned it to her side.
That couldn’t be her hand
“Frank Johnson’s speaking, and I’m home to report on it! Let me go!” Hazel snapped.
“They say you can’t ever go home again.” A chuckle.
“Well, she never left. Come on, Hazel. You’re going back to the center.”
“I’m going undercover!”
The man laughed. “Sounds serious. Wouldn’t you rather just play bridge?”